By Amina Abdullahi Girbo
The Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Professor Mojisola Adeyeye have been warned Nigerians against buying drugs from hawkers as well as patronizing the sellers of fruits riped through the use of Calcium Carbide due to the danger it poses to their health.
Professor Mojisola gave the warning at a one day media sensitization workshop on the Dangers of Drug Hawking and Ripening of Fruits with Calcium Carbide organized by the North-East Zone of the Agency in Bauchi on Monday.
She said the dangerous practice by some unscrupulous persons is killing unsuspecting members of the public, hence the need to bring journalists in to the matter with a view to creating awareness for members of the public to be aware and abstain from patronizing them.
Represented by the Director, Chemical Evaluation and Research of the Agency, Dr. Leonard Omokpariola, Professor Mojisola said there have been clarion calls by well-meaning Nigerians on the need to take stringent regulatory actions to stem the dangerous tide of Drug Hawking and Ripening of Fruits with Calcium Carbide.
She said that there have also been several concerns on the looming danger and health implication of these two nefarious activities by certain unpatriotic and unscrupulous citizens in our country.
“Since 2019, we immediately took some decisive steps such as sensitization of the public through different media outlets, enforcement through intelligence and raids in fruit markets that have resulted in seizures and destruction of violative products”, she said.
Mojisola said that the workshop been held was in fulfilment of the agency’s promise to sustain and strengthen NAFDAC’s existing collaboration journalists towards mobilizing, educating, sensitizing, and conscientizing members of the public on the dangerous practice.
“We are doing it for Nigerian Journalists to play frontline role in our concerted efforts to eradicate the menace of Drug Hawking and Ripening of Fruits with Calcium Carbide in Nigeria”, she said.
She said that the bulk industrial food or food ingredients that includes cereals (Cornflakes, Oat, Milk, and Beverages)are issued import permits for end-users in the manufacturing industry.
Mojisola said that NAFDAC has observed that bulk industrial food or ingredients that are not in the retail pack are being sold illegally in our markets..
“These bulk items are openly displayed and measured to unassuming buyers with little or no care from contamination”, she said.
She said that the agency is currently addressing such market practice through monitoring of the utilization rate and capacity (installed) of end-users to block the gas/leakage of the non-retailed packaged product from being sold in our markets.
Mojisola advised members of the public against buying dangerous non-retailed packed items from the market to prevent the risk of taking contaminated, substandard, expired and adulterated food or food fraud with grave health implications.